Phillips Brothers Construction
District 1 Director, Buddy Rosenberger
Larry Phillips was born in the Vine Grove area near the Hardin/Meade County line. He was raised on a dairy farm by his parents who were both originally from Meade County.
Growing up, Larry remembers working for Bill Straney as a mechanic “swamper” when he was a teenager. Both he and his brother Jerry spent summers working and learning skills that would one day help them establish a business.
Larry graduated high school in 1980 and by 1981, he and Jerry decided to purchase a track loader (“highlift”). As time went on, they added more equipment and established a successful business that included excavation and construction.
In 2001, Larry and his brother decided to split the company to enable their children to become more involved. Jerry focused on home building while Larry concentrated on excavation and site development.
Larry’s business, Philips Brothers Construction, has played a significant role in developing parts of the Nolin service area to make way for economic growth. With 70 employees, the company is busy working on projects in Hardin and Jefferson County. Some of their recent local projects include site development for the Kentucky Whiskey House and Kruger Packaging plant as well as the expansion of Baptist Health Hardin. Within the last year, they worked with Nolin, Hardin County Water District #2 and the city of E’town on a joint project that included an extension to Nolin’s pole yard, the site for HCWD’s new office and an improved detention pond at the back of Nolin’s property.
In the past, they worked on projects in Owensboro where they had an office at one time. Larry recalls one of their largest projects was work on the site of the hospital in Owensboro. They also worked on the HRC building site in Fort Knox and three sections of 313.
What started as a family business has continued to grow with the addition of both of Larry’s sons. His wife, Linda, is also in charge of payroll. They all live on the land that Larry was raised on. Larry and Linda’s daughter resides nearby in E’town.
In addition to his business, Larry has been active in the community in other ways. He has sat on the board of the homebuilder’s association as well as First Citizen’s Bank. He is also very active with the Meade County Fair and is a champion tractor puller.
Larry looks ahead to how the company might grow to meet the needs of future clients. His youngest son has brought the additional service of drone work into their portfolio. Larry also notes that there could come a need for expertise in remote control of equipment. This technology is one that he says is in development, and may be needed if employees continue to be difficult to find.
In an effort to address the issue of a lack of qualified employees, the company is part of a simulator program that offers people a chance to experience what it’s like to operate equipment. They encourage their employees and the general public to come to their office to try it. They have also taken it to the vocational school in Meade County and reached out to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College about using it for their students. They are one of only five companies in Kentucky with this simulator experience.
When asked what Larry wants people to know makes Phillips Brothers Construction special, he talks about his people and the years of experience and knowledge they bring to the table. He understands that this history of working in this community is essential in creating the future for Hardin County and beyond.